Californians who are Asian Indian or Taiwanese are among the most highly educated in the state, recently released census data shows.
Among both groups, about 7 out of 10 people ages 25 and older hold at least a bachelor's degree. On average, 3 out of 10 Californians have earned a bachelor's degree or higher.
The findings come from the 2006-2010 American Community Survey, which includes detailed estimates of social, economic and housing characteristics for 392 racial, tribal, Hispanic origin and ancestry groups. The five-year survey is the first time since the 2000 Census that such statistical detail has been available for the groups.
The data reveals significant disparities between racial and ethnic groups that often are lumped together.
For example, when counted as a whole, 48.5 percent of Asians in California hold at least a bachelor's degree. That number masks that 11.5 percent of Laotians but nearly 53 percent of Pakistanis have bachelor's degrees.
"Asians aren't all monolithic in terms of opportunities to higher education," said Joanna Lee, a senior research analyst at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center's Demographic Research Project.
Lee and her colleagues are working on an analysis of University of California and California State University data. Their initial findings show that "there's differences within Asian Americans as to who is actually enrolling and who is actually being admitted" that aren't apparent when Asian Americans are viewed as a whole, she said.